O'Connell sings ''Downtown'' praises
Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider (left) and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell were serenaded by sixth-grade soloist Torrey Soland and the Downtown Elementary School choir.
"The kids are much brighter there...
You can learn all three 'Rs' there
Because the teachers care...
So go Downtown..."
And so it went, as the after school students serenaded O'Connell, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Larry E. Reider and Associate Superintendent of Schools Christine Frazier with three songs.
Afterwards, O'Connell thanked the students on behalf of all three, telling them and Principal Sandra Rouse, "You are very talented, and I hope to see some of you on Broadway someday, if that's what you want. I congratulate you and Principal Rouse on being a California Distinguished School. I feel very lucky that you have invited me today, and I will take pride in bragging about you in Sacramento."
Rouse took the opportunity to do some bragging of her own to O'Connell.
"Our kindergartners are unbelievable," Rouse said. "They know the names of all of the Presidents and all of the states."
O'Connell thought a downtown school was a "great concept" and recognized Reider for being part of the team that made it happen when he was associate superintendent.
"We had a lot of employees who work downtown and needed an elementary school that could provide convenience and quality education for their young children," Reider said. "It has proven itself."
Earlier in the day, O'Connell visited with students on the campus of Bakersfield High School. That night he was the guest speaker at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools' School Trustees Fall Institute. Those in attendance represented school boards and staff from many of Kern County's school districts. O'Connell started out his remarks by praising the state's teachers and students.
"Eighty percent of our schools have met their API (Academic Performance Index) targets, 88 percent of our high school students have passed the high school exit exam and voters have approved 90 percent of our school bond measures," O' Connell said. "But we are eighth from the bottom in dollars spent for all students in education. We need to increase funding for schools that need it most. Do not fear API, AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress ) and the exit exam. We want to raise expectations and challenge our students. All of our students must be technologically proficient and have the analytical skills to compete in a more challenging economy."
Print This Page Email This Page